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Make Stenciled Decorator Tins

2 April 2010 35,976 views 13 Comments

by heather

Make old timey tins with custom stencils from stuff from your dollar store! I saw tins like these at a certain design retailer whose initials are PB, and I knew I could make them for a dollar or less. I found the "No. 2" tin at the dollar store in the gift wrap section (it was formerly pink and flowery), and I had the square tin on hand, left over from a Christmas stocking goodie. You probably have tins that will work already (those metal Band-Aid boxes, anyone? Altoids tins? Cookie tins?), but if not, you can find plenty of interesting tins at the dollar store.

If you want to use the same image on your tins, download the free stencil printable here.

Project Materials:

  • Tin, $1
  • Spray paint, on hand
  • Acrylic craft paint, on hand or $.50
  • Paper and packing tape for stencil
  • X-acto knife or scissors for stencil

Total: $1 and up

I used spray paint on these because I had it on hand, and it's quick and easy. You can get spray paint in black and white for less than a dollar at your local home improvement or big box store.  I made the stencils with the method I told you about the other day [click here to find out how to make stencils], and used acrylic craft paint to paint the stencils.

To make:

1. Spray paint tins black.

2. Cut out stencils. [click here to find out how to make stencils]

3. Apply stencils to boxes and paint stencils antique white.

4. Clean up image with additional paint, if necessary.

You can see in this paint that I fixed the outline of the letters here with black paint. Just a tip for your stenciling bag of tricks!

p.s. I also found a cute tutorial for making tins like these with chalkboard paint at Someday Craft by Angie from the Country Chic Cottage.

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  • Kathy V. said:

    They look cool, Heather!!

  • Holly said:

    GAH! I just had the same idea to do this with chalkboard paint, and then I read that someone else did it! rrr… now what?

  • Sophia said:

    Very nice! Just a quick question – Would the spray paint flake off under heavy use? (i.e. Would this be best for decoration only?) The only reason I ask is that I wanted to decorate some tins before, but I thought I read that the surface had to be primed with gesso (or something similar) first. Any thoughts? I have tons of tins that could be altered! :)

  • heather (author) said:

    @Sophia, I would just try it and see. What’s he worst that could happen?

  • Sophia said:

    Thanks – I’ll let you know if they do! :)

  • Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said:

    Thanks for the mention!! :) I did prime mine with spray primer first just to be safe. I have had no issues so far with paint flaking off. HTH! :)

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  • Miss Paige said:

    WTF…How have I never heard about this website until today?!?!?! Since I practically live at the dollar store (just spent $60 there last night haha…) and would marry it if I could, I am pretty sure I will be spending a lot of time on this site.

    Great tin idea, BTW. Reminds me of a christmas project my mom did for my male cousins when we were kids. She found old army tins, freshened up the dark green paint and bought stencils to spray paint each of their names on their own tin, in yellow. Then she filled with little treats and knick knacks.

    Cant go wrong with something original and/or personalized! Great job!

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